CRS Receives Emergency Funding for Haiti to Care for Most Vulnerable

Catholic Relief Services
Tuesday, 2 March 2004

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) today was awarded $412,287 for emergency cash grants. The money will be used to assist local organizations to care for those whose lives have been disrupted by recent fighting. The grants will support groups in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and along the country's southern peninsula.

The funds, part of a larger USAID/Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance package for humanitarian work in Haiti, will allow for the purchase of much needed food and nonfood supplies for some of Haiti's most vulnerable citizens: orphans, the elderly, people living with HIV-AIDS and the handicapped.

With the departure of Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and the arrival of armed opposition forces in Port-au-Prince, the situation remains tense. All humanitarian aid delivery continues to be suspended due to insecurity within the capital and on the nation's roads.

"Kids don't have anything to eat at orphanages and other CRS feeding centers. This cash assistance will help us respond immediately to purchase food and other basic necessities on the local market," said Jed Hoffman, CRS Regional Director for Latin America. "But this is a stop-gap measure; we continue to call on the government, the political opposition, the armed Haitian groups and the international troops now in Port-au-Prince to restore civil order as soon as possible so that we can get food and other supplies in our warehouses to those who are suffering."

CRS has worked in Haiti for 50 years, providing assistance in the areas of food security, HIV/AIDS care, safety net programs, civil society, health, water and sanitation, education and agriculture.

Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community. The agency provides assistance to people in 94 countries and territories on the basis of need, not race, creed or nationality.

For more information, or to contact Catholic Relief Services, see their website at: www.catholicrelief.org

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